6.5m Wide Load on Eyre Hwy

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 16:12
ThreadID: 135879 Views:3950 Replies:11 FollowUps:28
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Driving my 200 series LC towing 19ft 3500kg Bushtracker Easterly near Baladonia WA when I came across this 6.5m wide load, it took up both lanes of the highway and then some more. I followed it for some time expecting it to slow down and pull over every now and then to let traffic go past - think again. I had to do 100kph to get past with only inches to spare on either side.
This was very scary; my friends in the vehicle behind said that the caravan was being buffeted around quite severely and at times was only 10cm from the truck load. I am not sure I would do the same again.
Overtaking 6.5m Wide Load
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 16:54

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 16:54
That load was never going to let its wheels get off the bitumen.

There's no audio. Did you communicate with the Pilot Vehicle prior to passing it?

I hope you've got your flak hat on Rob, I reckon you will be on the receiving end of a bit.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 17:12

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 17:12
If you look at the video you should see the pilot moving over and waving me on around the load. It may not be visible with the lower resolution on YouTube. My Adult Supervisor insists that I turn the audio off on the windscreen camera.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
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Reply By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 16:56

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 16:56
G'day Rob D

It's almost the norm here in the West, possibly more so on or along the GNH ~ Great Northern Highway out of Perth to no particular point in the Pilbara, these wide loads are very common but still a total pain especially if there are several wide loads one after another and not necessarily going in the same direction.

They rule supreme so you just have to get off the tar and let them go by, sadly though most lead Pilot's don't even let us mere mortals know what's going on, but the Police escort vehicle on the wrong side of the road always means it's time to get well off the road.

Safe travels : Joe

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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 17:23

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 17:23
You are correct, even road trains were pulled over into the dirt on the side of the road. I am glad I did not come across 8.5m loads.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 13:03

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 13:03
These 'mega loads' are moved at night, as main roads WA and WA Pol can and do effectively shut down several hundred Kilometres of highway between certain hours ~ usually when 'mere mortals' must be asleep.

The 'mega load' convoy moves at night and parks up during the day light hours unless they have reached the designated delivery point.

One very serious consideration when moving off the tar seal to allow any wide load clear passage is the hidden culverts that can easily tear the under carriage out from under a vehicle or caravan, these death traps are now being marked with black and white roadside markers. not all culverts are visible especially when the 'verge vegetation' is lush.

Safe travels : Joe


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Follow Up By: Zippo - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 16:27

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 16:27
Interesting comment regarding the culverts.

In MANY parts of the eastern states over the last two months we noticed under-road drains/culverts were marked with BLUE posts on both sides of the carriageway. Made them easy to distinguish.
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Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 23:04

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 23:04
G'day Zippo

These drains and culverts here in the inland Pilbara were actually not marked in anyway until the onslaught of heavy haulage due to what was a few years back called the 'mining boom'

In and around that 'boom' time period there were several serious incidents where culverts and drains claimed victims as such, mainly collateral damage and big stuff not getting to a destination on time, I actually witnessed a garbage truck move off the tar for a escorted wide load clobber a hidden concrete lipped culvert at speed, the garbage truck was a roadside ornament for close to a week, before it was removed.

Safe travels : Joe
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Reply By: Member - Blue M - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 16:57

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 16:57
Rob, I came across the same thing a couple of times when I was over in WA last year, maybe not 6.5m wide but enough to make it interesting to pass.
I would either tag along behind it as most of them travel around the 75-80k mark, or pull up and have a cuppa, kick the tires for about 30 minutes and let it go.
I did have one experience where I did pass one of the wide loads and I dropped the drivers side wheel of the van off the edge of the bitumen (about a 3" drop off) and experienced a pucker or two getting till I got everything straight again.
But I was younger than and running to a timetable, now I am retired and don't worry about time any more.
Yes, the majority of travellers expect a caravan to pull over 50 times a day to let people past, but these big trucks don't worry about it to much, not that I blame them.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 17:19

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 17:19
I came across the same load a few days later in SA, only this time the truck was going slower and it pulled over the the right hand side of the road and it was quite easy to overtake. A more considerate truck driver this time.
Don't forget that the older you get, then the less time you have to do all of those things you want to, so you should drive faster to fit them all in!
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
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Reply By: Member - Racey - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 17:20

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 17:20
Most of these big loads travel at a fairly respectable speed and I am quite content to sit back. Rob, I , and I guess many others would not have attempted to pass the way you did.

Cheers
Jon
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 17:41

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 17:41
Hi Rob

Those big wide loads are very common across the Nullabor and have come across a few like Joe has posted where the trucks takes up both sides of the road and even when you are stopped well off the edge of the road, there seems very little distance between you are the load.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:16

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:16
This is one wide load that no one could pass over in the Goldfields of WA.


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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 18:35

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 18:35
Rob, just a couple of things. You didn't say wether you were in touch with the escort on a uhf, I guess not as you said he waved you through. I never go anywhere unless I first talk to the escort or prime mover and then I decide if I believe the condition and road are good enough for a pass. Not criticising at all, you made the decision but by what you said it was to close especially with a caravan and the risk of buffeting.

Many reckon uhf radios are a waste of time but this is far from the truth as communication and intentions can make the difference between good and bad.

If I was sus about the pass and the escort had indicated I could pass, I would just get on the blower and tell him that I would back it down and follow at a good distance behind, to let others pass easily without having to pass not only a wide load but a really long load. Normally that prime mover with that load would be travelling around 90 kph+ so sitting behind for me at least would be a breeze.

Good to see all was ok but even the big boys get it wrong.

Wide load and the minow


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Follow Up By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 19:58

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 19:58
Another heads up on having a UHF...and having it turned on !!!!!!!!!
The number of people I see travelling around towing caravans and not having it on is damn near criminal. OK...if the chatter and language offends you ....go get another life....as this mostly happens nearer towns and cities...then by all means turn it off ....but turn it back on again when you get away from the crap. Also....you can turn most sets to maximum squelch too ....and this blanks out anything over about 2 k away...alright for most highway situations.
This is what truck drivers ( ie... Me and lots of others ) see and hear on the road ....so if you have a UHF fitted ...use it ...please !!!!

Cheers Keith
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 21:55

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 21:55
Yep, good reply Eagle. That's exactly what I have done on a few occasions. Pull in well behind and wait until it's safe to pass BY YOUR OWN OBSERVATIONS.
Or until the truck and convoy pull in for a break. Most of the wide loads I have come across are doing somewhere around the 80 to 90 kph.

Is the time saved really worth risking your life and the lives of your passengers over?

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 09:04

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 09:04
Keith, regarding the UHF and having it turned on / using it . . .

One thing about modern UHF etiquette is it's hard to know just what channel people will be on.
Used to be on the old 27meg you'd call up on the call channel, then switch to a clear one for a conversation.

Now, people might be on 11 the designated call channel, but more often on 40.
They might be on 10 (4wd convoy / nat pks), or 18 (camper / cara), sometimes 29 (Pac Hwy).

Half the time people don't answer, even if they eventually admit they did hear your call, this happens in the deserts a lot for some reason.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 13:08

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 13:08
We are talking about communicating with truck drivers, they are always on ch40.
Chris
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 19:03

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 19:03
Once passed, I'd probably have to pull over, to take a leak, or something else anyway, rather just pull up, and have a cuppa.. all good... Odog
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 20:23

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 20:23
I had a similar experience a few months back but think it was on the SA side of the Eyre highway where the road is narrow with no verge. Spoke to the pilot on Ch 40 and he called me through when the opportunity arose - one of the hairiest manouvres ever because the truck stuck to 80kph and I was overtaking him with half my wheels in the dirt.
Its great when you get a smart pilot (and thats most of the time) but this guy was not one of them.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 20:45

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 20:45
You hit the nail on the head. When I was waved around, I was expecting a safer experience, but once I committed, I kept on. Note that the second time I passed the same load I had a much safer and less stressful experience with the driver going slower and moving to the right hand side of the road.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017 at 22:57

Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017 at 22:57
The experience is only as safe as the person behind the wheel can make it. Nobody makes you overtake a wide load and if the pilot waves you around your not obligated to pass until "you" .think it's safe enough and there is plenty of room to do so especially when towing a heavy van.
We also encounter lots of wide loads in the QLD coal fields, I have sat back and waited until the road was wider and suited me before I have passed more than once and I'm not usually towing anything. I have no interest in riding the rough edge of the road putting myself and passengers in unnecessary danger only to just to pull up again a few hours later down the road for a break. I would call them up and say it's ok I'm not in a hurry I wait till the road is wider thanks and pull to the left to let others pass. Sometime you even have to park up on the side of the road for half an hour or more waiting for a wide load or 2 to climb up a range.
I'm not sure what or if there is an underlying story as to why someone would post about how impatient and dangerous they can be by taking unnecessary risk on the roads when it's so easy to pull over for a break have a cuppa or something.
I really thing you statement next to you profile pic is a very accurate description and pretty ironic of how you drive while your suppose to be relaxing on a holiday good one.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017 at 23:10

Tuesday, Nov 21, 2017 at 23:10
Something else to remember these guys are working and are trying their best to get the wide load to it's destination as quick and safe at possible. So if they pulled over and let every vehicle pass it would mean their on the road longer than they need to be which means more impatient drivers catching up to them. I hope you, your friends haven't learnt something from this experience and reassess why your in such a hurry to get nowhere fast.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 23:01

Saturday, Nov 18, 2017 at 23:01
We got stuck behind a very wide load on the Nullarbor heading home one year, we must have come up behind them not long after Port Augusta. Going slow and no sign of pulling over. We didn't contact them but I was tempted to ask if they intended to pull over some time to allow the traffic past. They were no doubt heading for Western Australia. We thought they might pull over in Kimba but they didn't. They were quite a big convoy under police escort. My husband was bored driving so slowly, but didn't want me to contact them; they knew we were there, hanging well back. We heard them say "there are a couple of caravans but they are happy". The others were also staying also well behind. Eventually the convoy pulled off into a large parking area for the night. I was concerned they may go past before we left our overnight spot next morning, but we got out ahead of them.
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 10:48

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 10:48
Had you of called them up they would of likely made an effort to get you past and let you know when it was safe to do so, that has usually been my experience when i have radioed trucks / pilot vehicles and asked them to let me know when it's good to get by them. The fact you sat well back behind them like you say you did, made them think you were more then happy to keep doing that and didn't want to try and get by them. These drivers have time schedules they need to try and keep to and they aren't going to continually stop at every town to let vehicles get by them, but are happy to help out with such maneuvers whilst on the go if people ask nicely and are prepared to work with them (ie:- sit back and wait till pilot says all is good to go)
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 15:48

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 15:48
Yes, I would have initiated a dialogue if hubby wanted it Rumpig, but he said not to bother. They did require a very large area to pull over and park the two wide loads and accompanying escort vehicles. A normal rest area would not have done it.

Motherhen

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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 17:59

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 17:59
Yes Motherhen, my expectations were the same as yours; that they would move over and slow down for to clear the back log of traffic every now and then. When the pilot waved me on, that was exactly what I expected.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 00:29

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 00:29
I just recalled another wide load that did not let traffic pass - quite some years ago. I was driving my father in law to Perth in his sedan, and we got behind a wide load heading down the Armadale hill. The load was very slow, and blocked all lanes, taking over an hour just to get down the hill, a distance of about seven kilometres. With a big backlog of traffic, they made no attempt to pull over to allow some traffic to overtake. I'm sure there were spots where the could have to allow space in one one lane. Our family were getting very concerned at our non arrival, and we had no way of contacting them.

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Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 11:01

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 11:01
Motherhen,

Its not permitted for safety reasons, same applies to greenmount both up n down go slow hurry up take your time.

When they head east up greenmount they will pull over at Glen Forrest allow traffic to pass them, can't comment on Albany hwy bedfordale hill.

I usually miss that section. I normally cut across from albany to brookton hwy then Ashendon toMundaring weir

In the past when loads were actually smaller than today, and before the median strip was concreted in up greenmount (late 80's?) I vaguely recall oversize did trundle up the middle allowing 1 n bit lanes clearance both sides for vehicles to pass them.

There has been of recent a few "breakdowns" both up n down greenmount, with that situation escorts pilots will block a opposing lane allowing vehicles to straddle median strip to get around or set up a bypass using local roads for light vehicles.
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Reply By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 09:38

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 09:38
Excuse my ignorance please, but why did the wide loads move to the right hand side of the road?

bill
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Follow Up By: AlanTH - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 10:01

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 10:01
I was wondering the same thing. Seems a stupid manoeuvre just to let vehicles through. Although I met a bloke sometime ago who reckons he does this with his van to allow road trains to overtake so the driver doesn't have to move his steering wheel.......
He wasn't impressed when I said it was an idiotic thing to do as that put him on the wrong side of the road if anything went wrong. Vehicles shouldn't be even attempting to overtake if they can't see it's clear to go.
Most pilots are fairly good but I still use my own eyes and experience before moving out.
And I never take any notice of others flicking the indicators as a signal that it's safe.
AlanTH.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 10:41

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 10:41
It moved over to the right hand side of the road to allow vehicles to overtake on the left so that the driver of the overtaking vehicle was closer to the load and could better judge the clearance between his vehicle and the load. Probably the most important part of the second time overtaking was the much lower speed.
Keep in mind that in front of the load was a pilot followed by a police vehicle and then the load followed by another pilot.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:08

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:08
This is what comes to my mind.
A 6.5m wide load necessitates all oncoming vehicles to pull off the sealed pavement.
Oncoming traffic would have been told to pull over and stop on the shoulder (or a bit further) until the wide load and rear pilot vehicle had gone through.
If the wind was coming from the LHS, any dust would be to the right of the wide load, obstructing vision to the right.
Therefore they (the police escort) might have considered that the LHS, although unorthodox, was the safer option - no oncoming traffic, clear(er) vision, possibly less turbulence.
Undertaken with police direction, it was not illegal.
Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:40

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 11:40
Common for them to pull right allow overtaking traffic to pass on left,allows driver of overtaking vehicle to judge distance from load.

oddest I have ever done was passing 2 x 8m wide loads through chittering valley just north of brand hwy turn off before bindoon escort closed off south bound lanes (a section where there are 4 lanes, 2 each way)

allowed us to go contra flow to get around the oversize loads.

rule #1 always be in contact either traffic escort (red n blue) or pilot (amber) on UHF 40

I've seen first hand what happens when a impatient driver tries to get around a oversize load.

Should also note some loads will only have front pilot and nothing at rear, seen small cars tucked up behind one load, driver and pilot never knew they were there until I passed and called them to advise of following traffic - yet again rule # 1 applies if you come up behind them.
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue M - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 13:45

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 13:45
Well your never to old to learn something different.
I have never seen or heard of a wide load moving to the wrong side of the road so vehicles could pass on the inside.

I, myself personally would still be a bit hesitant to do so, and would rather pull up and have a cuppa.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 14:25

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 14:25
Up until early this year, I'd been doing linehaul work for about 7 years, after "retiring" from station life in early 2009.

On one occasion after leaving Longreach, I caught up to an oversize and once there was no oncoming traffic, I was advised by the rear escort that the oversize would pull to the right. I then overtook them, staying in the same lane.

My take on it is this. The oversize driver can go to the edge of the bitumen, using his RH mirrors to keep all those tyres off the rough edges. The overtaking driver, in this case moi, can easily manoeuvre a 53M quad/triple past the oversize, with room to spare between the trucks and without running off the left hand edge of the bitumen.

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: AlanTH - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 19:50

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 19:50
I can understand it happening as co-operation between drivers and pilots to other big load haulers, but not a goon pulling a van putting himself on the wrong side of the road.
If directed by the cops I'll do most things, after making a final check for myself that it's safe to do so.
AlanH.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 20:24

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 20:24
AlanTH, I would suggest you do an I.Q. test and if your score is greater than you shoe size, then do a remedial English comprehension course before you make any more embarrassing posts.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 21:54

Monday, Nov 20, 2017 at 21:54
Common sense beats I.Q every time !.
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Reply By: CSeaJay - Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 16:28

Sunday, Nov 19, 2017 at 16:28
Rob D
You must have big goonies. I am not shy to overtake when I can, but I would not have attempted this one, or if I have, I would have had to clean the seat after. Especially whilst towing!
Yes big goonies, or dare I say it, dangerous. You may have had everything under control but I'd hate to think others reading this (who are just starting on the towing thing) think that this is normal. If you had for example dropped a wheel off the edge or if the wind of the truck swayed your van to do the same, the results would not have been happy.
And then to be fair, if that 'fail' video was then posted here via an abc report link, the comment from the forum would all have been about all the reasons why it should not have been attempted in the first place.
I am glad it worked out
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